• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel, Room 123

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel

Department Head Adrian A. Selin
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
Remembering the Neoliberal Turn: Economic Change and Collective Memory in Eastern Europe after 1989

Gökarıksel S., Gontarska O., Hilmar T. et al.

L.: Routledge, 2023.

Book chapter
Colonies in Interwar Europe? The Balkan Communist Parties as Precursors of Anticolonialism

Gužvica S.

In bk.: Decolonial Politics in European Peripheries: Redefining Progressiveness, Coloniality and Transition Efforts. L.: Routledge, 2023. P. 297-318.

Working paper
The Image of the Past in Ciro Spontone’s ‘Historia Della Transilvania’

Khvalkov E., Levin F., Кузнецова А. Д.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2021

Socialist Urbanism in Global Context

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
Elective course
4 year, 1, 2 module


Course Syllabus


The goal of the course "Socialist Urbanism in Global Context" is to acquaint students with the basic theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of Soviet urbanization policy during the 20th century and its social, economic and cultural consequences. In the result of this course students would learn conceptual apparatus and the basic concepts of the study of Soviet history and cultural policy, as well as the major concepts and approaches of urban history. Students would also learn the main issues of the development of architectural and social theories of urban planning in the USSR and the implementation of various urban experiments, and policies regarding the city and urban inhabitants. Students also would be able to describe and analyze social experiments and urban projects of the 20th century.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To acquaint students with the basic theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of the phenomenon of a socialist city, Soviet urbanization projects and policy during the 20th century and its social, economic and cultural consequences
  • To develop students' ability to analyze special historical literature and works of popular culture of the 20th century, to conduct a scientific discussion and publicly present the results of the study.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To learn major theoretical and historiographical approaches toward the phenomenon of a socialist city and socialist urbanism.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction. Phenomenon of Socialist Urbanism. What makes a city “socialist”?
  • Imperial towns in Revolution: symbolic and practical reconstructions in Petrograd/Leningrad
  • Early Soviet social and planning experiments: garden-city movements, urbanists vs des-urbanists, “socialist towns”(sotsgoroda)
  • Social and planning implications of Soviet industrialisation. Mono-industrial towns as company towns
  • “Socialist” urban infrastructures and technologies as a part of political and cultural sphere
  • Socialist environment in post-socialist time: path-dependency, nostalgia or new forms of urban life.
  • Social stratification in a Stalinist city. Different norms and everyday life.
  • Socialist Leningrad
  • Commemoration of Victory and Post-War Reconstructions: Architecture as a mirror of a new political regime and the problems of everyday life
  • Sovietisation of new territories before and after World War II
  • “The Thaw” in Soviet Architecture: mass housing campaign and standardisation of socialist cities
  • Private and public in new Soviet standardised apartments
  • Phenomenon of closed and scientific cities
  • Soviet sub-cultures: official and unofficial urban life
  • “Showcase of socialism”: tourism in and from the USSR
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class participation
  • non-blocking Group presentation on the topic "The legacy of a socialist city in post-Soviet space"
    Students should divide into groups up to 3-4 people in each group and prepare a presentation (15-minutes long) on different issues of social life or material environment in socialist Leningrad, Moscow, Perm/Molotov or Gorky or on strategies of representation and incorporation of socialist heritage in contemporary urban environment.
  • non-blocking Final essay
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.4 * Final essay + 0.2 * Group presentation on the topic "The legacy of a socialist city in post-Soviet space" + 0.4 * In-class participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Barenberg, A. (2014). Gulag Town, Company Town : Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta. New Haven: Yale University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=818471

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Rittersporn, G. T. (1996). Stephen Kotkin. Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as Civilization. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 1995. Pp. xxv, 639. $55.00. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.18E2D6D6